I set a goal of putting in 3,000 kilometers (~1,875 miles) on my bicycle this year. It didn’t go well. My final tally is 2,515 kilometers (~1,570 miles). At least I think that’s it; it’s hard to read the screen on my crappy cyclocomputer. That’s a fitting end to this year in bicycling:
January 2010: Weather hits. Snow, ice, more snow, more ice… Riding my mountain bike, which doesn’t have a cyclocomputer, to cope with nasty street conditions. Mileage is estimated, but when the weather’s bad, I take the shorter route to work.
January 2010: The “Old Route K ” bridge, which was used for the ~8km bike route I frequently take on a lunchtime bike ride, has been shut down and demolished for replacement. Estimated re-opening: September 2010. The next closest alternate loop adds almost 4 more Km, and another brutal climb on a narrow, busy road. So much for lunchtime bike rides this summer.
January 2010: My frame breaks. Very. Seriously. Breaks. My right rear drop-out cracked apart. Amazingly enough, there’s a welder in town that might be able to fix it. I check my bike into the shop, and accidentally leave the cyclocomputer on it. In the meantime, back to my mountain bike.
February 2010: Road bike still in the shop. Weather still nasty.
March 2010: Road bike still in shop. At least the weather is improving a bit finally.
April 2010: My road bike has been at the welder’s for over 2 solid months. The shop warned me the guy wasn’t fast. But… the bike finally comes back, with the most incredible weld job imaginable. It’s whole again! To bad the crown of the cyclocomputer got all scratched up in the process.
May 2010: POW! Front rim on road bike totally blows out, ruins tire and tube too. Dang new wheels and tires are expensive… back to the mountain bike.
June 2010: Finally found a killer deal on a new front wheel from Walts Bike Shop. The road bike rides again! But boy am I behind on my mileage by now…
June 2010: No sooner do I get a new wheel and tire, than I get a pinch flat from a rock on the trail. I spend the next 2 weeks getting flats every other day. Finally discover that my brand new tire has a cut in it just big enough for the tube to start bulging out after a couple days of riding. I fix it with layers of cut up piece of tube, mr. tuffy, more tube.
June 2010: Shifter cable on mountain bike breaks. Coming to the conclusion that the universe does not want me to meet my cycling goal for the year.
The summer: No lunchtime bike rides. Old Route K bridge still out. More footbag, less riding.
September 2010: New “Old Route K” bridge finally open! Lunchtime bike rides commence!
October 2010: Poor weather and a crushing workload pretty much put an end to lunchtime bike rides. I officially give up on even thinking I’m gonna be able to meet my mileage goal for the year.
December 2010: Weather, weather, weather. Mountain bike it still fried, doing the minimum route on my road bike.
So yeah, it’s been the worst bicycling year I’ve had for a while.
Looking forward to 2011: You bet your ass I’m setting my goal at 3,000Km again. I can do it if I don’t suffer an endless chain of breakdowns and other disappointments. The challenge will be the fact that funding for trail maintenance is drying up. Trail conditions will continue to deteriorate, and flooding will really put the whammy on it. I may be forced to do vigilate maintenance on the trail this summer.
Best wishes, lots of miles, best of everything. Here’s wishing you a wonderful and prosperous 2011!